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Southern Polytechnic State University

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Time, money, and resource management would be three topics to stress to my ?high school self.? Although, as a graduate, I felt prepared for college, completing the IB program, making good grades, applying for HOPE, etc., a journey still awaited. I soon realized no matter how prepared I was, nothing sufficed. "The biggest room is the one for improvement"(unknown); I had multiple improvements! Time management/prioritizing has been my utmost challenge; from getting up early for class, to not procrastinating, to going to bed early! College was more than studying about computers/history, I was now responsible for juggling events, bills, and studies. Another struggle, money management, has proven difficult because of unexpected expenses beyond what HOPE scholarships covered. Knowing this now, to prevent the burden of educational loans, I would have strongly advised myself to research scholarship opportunities earlier. Resource management, with regards to critical details about the school, staff, students, and getting the "inside scoop,? prior to arrival is vital in college transition. Enlightening myself about "ratemyprofessors.com" would have enabled me to strategically position myself to obtain Southern Poly?s best teachers. Learning about available resources takes time, but the wisdom gained is priceless.

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The best thing parents and their soon to be prospective students can do is physically visit the schools they are considering investing in. It will make a world of difference to physically go there and feel out how the student would feel in that environment and possibly talk to first hand sources i.e. students & faculty. It is also good for investigating the resources that would be available to the student at that location so as to properly weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the competing offers. It will help the student determine what would be the most efficient living arrangement for that school which is probably, from my experience, the most key influential factor in how the students attitude will mold itself concerning his or her academics. A nice productive, clean, lively and friendly, not dead & dull, atmosphere tends to give the proper motivation for the student to grow and continue growing as opposed to partying too much, not having any fun at all, or becoming completly unmotivated to their school work. The family should also check to make sure that the university has diverse oppourtunities to expose their child to career paths, culture, & volunteer services to broaden horizons.

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I am still technically a high school senior. I am Joint-Enrolled through the MOWR program. While technically Joint-Enrolled, I am a full-time student at Southern Polytechnic State University; all my classes are at SPSU; and I live on-campus. Honesty, this is the greatest academic opportunity I have ever had, and I intend to take full advantage of it. Time management is integral to college success but differs greatly from high school, even the Advanced Placement program and courses. If I could go back and talk to myself last (junior) year, I would advise myself to prioritize first. I had five APs in one year, technically, with other classes, volunteering, sports, and other extracurriculars. I needed to prioritize, to ensure I completed tasks of high priority, and not to stress as much over other little things that tended to distract me at that point. Next year, I will probably want to go back in time and tell myself not to overload. With the Joint-Enrollment, full-time college schedule, extracurriculars, the Honors program, volunteering when I can, and my internship, time is scarce, and energy can be lacking. I regularly catch myself in unstable balancing acts.

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Life in itself has its obstacles to overcome. You are beginning an entire new stage that will require your dedication, perservance, and diligence to suceed in future endeavors. Although, high school might not have seem much of a challenge, DO NOT, take your college experience for granted. Everything from your school work, and turning them in, on time, and correct will take you a long way. Moreover, do the little things, which counts the most, including being efficient with your time. Procratination, is the biggest, if not, the worse behavior you can have in college because it does not have its benefits. When you wait to the last minute to do things several things can happen which include not finishing an assignment, getting enough rest for the following day, then would affect your entire day. Furthemore, Look forward to your goal, and dont get distracted by irrelevant things that you will come across your way. Every now and then, you can go to an outing with your friends, but only on occasion or during breaks in between semester. Your social life is important but not more important than your education. Take these words to the bank, and success is assured.

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The first piece of advise to myself is to save my money because college will become very expensive living alone to be closer to campus has its consequences. I would further discuss the pros and cons with the commuting problems I was always having during my early college career because of my sexual orientation. Sure I would be closer to campus, but I would be saving money from rent, groceries, utilities, social events, credit cards, miscellaneous membership fees, books and other school supplies, tuition fees, and the gasoline that was to be used to drive back to Loganville in order to visit my parents once a week to save one the extra 1-Hr commute time. Another thing to gather from my phenomenal and enlightened wise words would be that saving money in a CD savings account would be a wise thing to do because I now know that the 2010 economic recession can seriously affect how money can affect a persons life during rough economic times. Finally, I would say the journey to becoming a nationally accredited architect will be tough but trying my best and making the right decisions will eventually win my reward of an architectural degree.

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The transition from high school to college is definitely a difficult task an individual in today's world must face. Figuring out which major to declare could possibly be one of the harder decisions that you will face. It’s important to not panic and take your time in deciding which major is right for you. The reason is because whatever major you finally decide on will control which colleges you apply for. Once you get accepted to a college, there is just one more hurdle you must clear first. This would include adjusting to your new life away from home and making new friends. Making friends can make this whole transition process easier and more enjoyable. This is not saying spend all your time making friends and none studying or doing homework, but balance the two. Learning to network is a huge part of college, so become involved on campus and join some academic clubs. These academic clubs are a great way to meet people that have the same passion towards school as you. The best advice is to stay positive and keep focus on not just becoming a college graduate, but becoming a more skilled and knowledgeable individual.

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David Dewald, This is yourself from ten years in the future. Turn off the television, take a step back from the people around you. Read the fountainhead by Ayn Rand starting today. You will find happiness by finding ways to create in this world with your own two hands, mind, and mouth. You can live in the dirt your entire life, or you can choose to rise torwards the sky; ten years from now you will value the dirt but prefer the sky. Learn the law, there is power there, push aside fantasy and focus on science and technology. Injustice is a reality of our world; you will know a nightmare of injustice most will never dream possible. Do not be ruled by fear. Fear is an unavoidable emotion, but your actions in the midst of that fear are what will define you as brave or cowardly. Surround yourself with order. Many people in this world float on the wind their entire life. Your happiness and peace comes most often when you are surrounded by cleanliness and order. Things dont just work out because you're innocent. You must fight with all your resources for justice to prevail. keep smiling.

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Advice to my high school self I am a construction management senior at Southern Polytechnic State University and nothing more motivates me than to excel in school and ultimately get a good job. I have always admired programs like yours- Campus Discovery Scholarship-that grant students who have the desire but not the resources the opportunity to attain their goals and dreams. If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would advice myself to focus in class, never procrastinate as I tend to procrastinate at times, participate in student life activities on campus and try as much as possible not to take student loans. Looking back now there was no way I could have avoided taking student loans because there was no other options for me. Nevertheless, I can still say that it is rewarding to know that I am following all the other advice I would have given myself because following them has gotten me to where I am now-academically sound. My career objective is to secure a position as a project manager after college completion and this program will equip me with the tools to attain my goal.

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Dear self, Here are some pointers for your future. Transitioning to college life can be quite difficult and it is easy to take your first year for granted. Staying focused and keeping your grades up is very important because recovering a low GPA can prove very challenging. Try to balance your social life with schoolwork from the very beginning in order to avoid a more challenging transition later on. There are a lot more responsibilities and freedoms that come with college life and finding the making the right choices can be very difficult. Make sure you utilize every resource your school has to offer to the fullest extent because you are paying for it! Also if your are working and going to school make sure you balance school and work with school being the most important. Make sure when the time is appropriate you try to get an externship or internship because in our trying economy work experience is key to getting into your industry. Most importantly never give up or give in no matter how tough things may become because your future is bright and you are capable of whatever you set your mind on.

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I believe that the best advice I ever got regarding finding the right college was to just take my time with it. Too many students get caught up with the hustle and bustle of graduating from high school and being told that they need to hurry up and find a college so that they can continue their education that they don't take the time to seriously consider their choices. This can make the whole experience more of an ordeal and considerably less fun and exciting. Take your time, weigh your options, and even talk to people that personally know the school you are looking at and I guarentee it will be much more enjoyable. I would also reccomend that if you are debating between colleges and you can't really decide just go with the one that is your first instinct. Today transferring between colleges and carrying over your credits is a process that is, while not easy, fairly straightforward. If you go into a college and decide it isn't where you want to be, simply finish the semester and transfer over to another college. Many students at SPSU use this technique to boost themselves into Georgia Tech.

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